Fire Prevention in Apartments

Lakeshore Apartments fire Every year, Springfield Firefighters respond to nearly 500 residential fires. More than 65% of those occur in rental properties. Apartment fires are particularly concerning to the fire service because one person’s actions puts dozens of lives at risk.

 Know the Facts 

  • At 40%, careless smoking is the number one cause of apartment fires in Springfield.
  • A fire can double in size every 30 seconds.
  • In the last 10 years, 70% of fatal fires occurred in rental properties.
  • In the United States, one person dies in a house fire about every 3 hours.

Common Hazards

BBQ Grills 

  • If you live in an apartment building that has 3 or more apartments and is unsprinklered, you are prohibited from operating an open-flame cooking device, such as a gas or charcoal grill on a combustible balcony or within 10 feet of combustible construction.
Careless Smoking 
  • Use a sturdy ashtray or can filled with sand to collect ashes. Do not use a flammable container such as Tupperware and never use a potted plant. Potting soil contains combustible materials.
  • Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table.
  • Put it out. The cigarette needs be completely stubbed out in the ashtray. Do not let cigarette butts pile up on top of one another.
  • Empty your ashtray often by first soaking the cigarette butts in water. NEVER toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
  • If you are drowsy, put it out. Fires caused by cigarettes often start on or next to the victim – in bed, on a sofa or in the trash.
  • Never smoke while using oxygen!

Cooking Safety 

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you choose to try and put out the fire yourself, be sure everyone else is evacuating and someone has called 911.

Other Home Hazards 

  • Don't overload electrical outlets.
  • Avoid use of extension cords, if possible.
  • If you use a space heater, keep it at least 3’ from anything that can burn and never power it with an extension cord.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Keep furnace/water heater closet free of storage.
  • Clean your dryer lint trap after each use. Avoid use of candles.
  • Keep exits, stairways and hallways clear of all materials.

Smoke Alarms

According to city ordinance your landlord or property owner is required to install a smoke alarm in your rental unit. You are required to maintain the alarm. It is against fire code to remove or tamper with the alarm.
  • Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced at least once a year.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years. If you think your smoke alarm may be older than 10 years old, contact your landlord or property owner. If you are unable to resolve the issue after contacting your landlord or property owner, contact the Springfield Fire Marshal's office at 417-874-2300.



In a multi-family setting, one person's actions can impact dozens of lives. For this reason, the Springfield Fire Department is proud to offer a short online-based training video for tenants of multi-family apartment buildings. After clicking on the link, simply press the "play" icon on the lower left portion of your screen. The 10-minute training will automatically play in its entirety.

Please note: This program works best with Google Chrome. If you have trouble loading on Internet Explorer, we recommend trying another browser.

Upon completion, you are welcome to take a short 10-question quiz to test your knowledge of the information learned. 

For live training and other fire safety opportunities, contact us